Man the announcements are coming fat and furious, as IGN’s Direct2Drive announces they will start selling downloadable Top Cow Comics.:

IGN Entertainment, a unit of Fox Interactive Media, today announced that its Direct2Drive ( digital retail store has launched the Web’s first independent, download-to-own comic book store and will begin selling comic book titles from Top Cow Productions. The agreement marks the first time that users will be able to digitally download and own full-length comic books, and Direct2Drive anticipates the addition of content from more comic and manga publisher partners in addition to Top Cow over the next year.

The downloadable comic books will be delivered in high-resolution, full-color documents via Adobe Systems Incorporated’s Portable Document Format (PDF), enabling users to download, view and print the comic books on any standard Windows PC.

“Comic books are a perfect addition to our content library of digital games, anime, TV and movies as we continue to build the Web’s premier download store targeting the interests of men 18-34,” said Jamie Berger, Senior Vice President of Consumer Products for IGN Entertainment. “Top Cow is one of the comic industry’s most cutting-edge publishers and we’re proud to offer their content exclusively to the Direct2Drive consumer.”

”It’s never been a question of ‘will comics be available digitally’, but rather how and when,” commented Filip Sabik, Vice President of Marketing & Sales for Top Cow. “Top Cow has been looking for the right partner with which to launch online content. IGN is one of the premier pop culture sites on the web, and their model for digital distribution on Direct2Drive was the one that allowed us to deliver content to fans while not discounting our core retailer base. It’s a win win situation.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Direct2Drive will serve as the exclusive worldwide digital distributor of Top Cow Productions’ library of comics, with more than 400 total books from Top Cow available over the coming year. Top Cow titles available at launch on Direct2Drive will include Witchblade, The Darkness, Tomb Raider, and Rising Stars, with more added each week.

Pricing for Top Cow Comics on Direct2Drive will be similar to the volume pricing offered for Top Cow’s recent Compendium collections, as well as and other trade collections. Top Cow’s backlist will also be offered through Direct2Drive, with material up to a year old available for download.


  1. This looks to be a great way to get a comic book fix without taking up a lot of space on the book shelf. I recently returned from a business trip with 3 trades to read while there that took much needed space. With a downloadable book this extra weight would not be needed as I already had my laptop. One thing that I do wonder is about protection from piracy. No where in the article does it address this and it seems to me that a PDF is very easy to distribute.

  2. so instead of using an advertiser based model to make the comics cheaper or even free, the audience has to pay?

    I can see trades available at a price but not digi-floppies. Whatever happened to the idea of expanding the business by using new types of advertisers?

    Silly, silly meat.

  3. It will be interesting to see what kind of deal is being offered. But if the price hasn’t been reduced significantly or there aren’t any “bonus features” being put forward then I don’t see it going very far.

  4. I’ve been looking forward to something like this really taking off, so I’m excited to see it hit the big time with IGN backing. That said, the titles they have right now aren’t worth the price since normal consumers are already scanning and sharing at no cost.

  5. “…via Adobe Systems Incorporated’s Portable Document Format (PDF), enabling users to download, view and print the comic books on any standard Windows PC.”

    Since .pdf support is actually built into the Macintosh operating system itself, and the format works on Linux or any other UNIX system that people might have installed on a PC as an alternative to Windows, you really have to wonder why this press release doesn’t say “on any PC or Mac.” Are they using some kind of Windows-only DRM, or have they set things up so that only Windows PCs can download the files, or was the oversight just ignorance on someone’s part? Since they’re not offering any titles I’m interested in, I’m not going to blow $1.99 on a single issue just to find out.

    And Bill Cunningham’s absolutely right. It’s insane and ultimately self-defeating to charge this much for any format which doesn’t come with the costs of paper, printing, shipping, and distribution. Will the writers and artists be seeing greater royalties from the greater profit margin Top Cow makes per copy? Or is this all just an elaborate way to make digital distribution fail so they can say “we tried it, didn’t work”?

  6. Reading the fine print, there is DRM embedded into the files. I noticed that they said that the files will be lost should you reinstall or transfer to another computer, so they encourage you to print it out. I kid you not.

    Methinks they miss the point.